We rely on our shoulders to do many things— from self-care, cooking and cleaning, to performing our tasks at work. Sustaining an injury or suffering from a condition that causes pain and limited mobility in the shoulders will render even basic movements difficult.
While most shoulder problems respond to nonsurgical treatment, there are those that persist and may require surgical intervention.
There are many different types of shoulder surgery, but here are the most common.
Shoulder Fracture Repair
In many cases of shoulder fractures, the broken bones are usually left positioned in a way that will allow them to naturally heal through simple immobilization. There are instances, however, when bones are knocked in a position that only surgery can move them back into their place.
Depending on the nature or severity of the break, a shoulder fracture repair may be done through open surgery or arthroscopically.
Arthroscopy is a surgical technique in which an orthopedic surgeon uses an arthroscope— a long, flexible tube with a camera attached at the end—to see the inside of your joint. The view inside your joint can be seen on a high-definition video monitor. An arthroscopy requires only tiny incisions and can be done on an outpatient basis.
Rotator Cuff Repair
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attaches the head of your upper arm bone (humerus) firmly to your shoulder socket. Your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a rotator cuff repair when the rotator cuff tendon no longer fully attaches to the head of the humerus.
The following are the common techniques used to repair a rotator cuff tear:
- Open repair (if the rotator cuff tear is large or complex)
- Mini-open repair (uses both arthroscopic and open-surgery procedures)
Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Total shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the entire joint— the ball (humerus) and socket (scapula) part— with a prosthesis. If you have bone-on-bone arthritis and have intact rotator cuff tendons, you are an ideal candidate for a total shoulder replacement procedure.
A total shoulder replacement surgery can be done either via open surgery or arthroscopy.
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
The difference between a shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement lies in the placement of the metal ball and plastic cup. A standard shoulder replacement device is designed to mimic the shoulder’s anatomy: a plastic cup is attached to the socket and a metal ball to the humerus. As the name of the procedure implies, a reverse total shoulder replacement involves a reverse attachment: the metal ball to the socket and the plastic cup to the upper end of the humerus.
Patients who have shoulder arthritis or a large rotator cuff tear are good candidates for reverse total shoulder replacement surgery.
Shoulder Surgery in Bismarck, ND
The success of a shoulder surgery hinges on various factors, the most important of which is perhaps the technical skills of an orthopedic surgeon. If you’re contemplating shoulder surgery for your injury or condition and looking for a highly skilled surgeon, see us for an evaluation here at The Bone & Joint Center.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have a proven track record for performing numerous successful shoulder surgeries, helping many of our patients regain their normal function and enjoy a good quality of life. Let us help you as well!
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call us at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 or use our convenient online request form.